ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Jai Sri Ram, Salaam Aleykum, Bajrangi Bhaijaan

The blockbuster Bajrangi Bhaijaan rescues Hinduism from Hindutva and restores it to what it remains to a large extent even today--a loose faith which in some ways embodies the spirit of "live and let live."

Pawan Kumar Chaturvedi could well have been your average Bajrang Dal activist. Son of the local Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) shakha chief, he is totally devoted to Hanuman, hence his nickname Bajrangi. His favourite greeting is “Jai Sri Ram,” and he makes no bones about his respect for upper castes, his dislike for meat lovers and “Mohammedans’’ who follow a paraya dharm, and his hatred for Pakistan.

But the hero of Bajrangi Bhaijaan turns out to be the antithesis of the typical macho Bajrang Dal lout. In the akhaada, where his father takes him to learn wrestling, he is reduced to helpless giggles because the combative sport induces in him a tickling sensation. Nor can he cope with the exacting discipline of the RSS shakha. And far from being a war cry, as the RSS/VHP/Bajrang Dal has made it, Bajrangi’s “Jai Sri Ram” is said quietly, with genuine devotion.  

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